“The West Australian Government must be recognised for committing to the National Partnership Agreement as many states are yet to even do that despite it running out on June 30. It is also pleasing to see them commit to measures to improve Aboriginal mental health,” .
The $31million announced by the West Australian Government to Close the Gap will assist Aboriginal health services and other stakeholders in the delivery of comprehensive primary health to maintain the delivery of services for a further twelve months with the hope that a further three years of funding be committed to in the new year.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Justin Mohamed, said Aboriginal health outcomes were too important to be put at risk and other states and territories also need to urgently commit to their fair share.
“The West Australian Government must be recognised for committing to the National Partnership Agreement as many states are yet to even do that despite it running out on June 30. It is also pleasing to see them commit to measures to improve Aboriginal mental health,” Mr Mohamed said.
“It is well recognised that closing the gap on Aboriginal health – where life expectancy can be a shocking ten to seventeen years gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians – will take a generational commitment.
“In 2008 all state and territory governments signed up to the National Partnership Agreement and committed for four years to concentrate on improving chronic disease and other health issues in Aboriginal communities.
“This commitment has started to see some positive results – child mortality rates in particular are dropping.
“This is very encouraging and shows that the programs are seeing real results on the ground.
“There needs to now be an ongoing, long-term approach that guarantees certainty to Aboriginal health services across Australia so they can continue to deliver what is needed to make a difference in their communities.”
The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) today also commended the establishment of the committee comprised of several Cabinet members which will analyse the WA close the gap program and ensure its key objectives are being met.
“We are pleased that some funding commitment has been delivered and welcome the evaluation across all government departments around where money is being spent across Western Australia,” Vicki O’Donnell, Chair, AHCWA said.
“In the past four years the National Partnerships Agreement funding has created more than 300 jobs and delivered dozens of services to Indigenous Australians and helped in remote areas which didn’t have access to health services. It is important this good work continues.”
Media contact: Colin Cowell 0401 331 251, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774
- NACCHO 2013 budget press release:Lack of detail leaves a question mark over Aboriginal health (nacchocommunique.com)
- NACCHO press release :Download the Closing the Gap progress report: small steps make ongoing commitment vital (nacchocommunique.com)
- NACCHO launches new 2013-2030 Healthy Futures 10 point and AIHW report card (nacchocommunique.com)